Kink On Tap
Summary: Kink On Tap is the smart sexuality netcast for the kinkily inclined. Tired of the pulp eroticization of sexuality? Annoyed by the self-aggrandizement of sex bloggers? Want a more thoughtful, heartier, smarter approach to sexuality, society, culture, feminism, and queer activism? These are the droids you’re looking for.
How is it that BDSM play is deeply connecting? What can we learn about how people in general construct intimacy with others in their lives by analyzing sadomasochistic communities? On this special episode of Kink On Tap, sociologist Dr. Staci Newmahr joins us to discuss her new book, Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy. Drawing on disciplines as far ranging as criminology to gender theory and beyond, Dr. Newmahr offers a rigorous conceptual framework in which to understand "What It Is That We Do," the value of risk itself, and even the fluidity of identity. Unlike the typical fare of sexuality news and articles and a roundtable discussion, this time I sat down one-on-one with Dr. Staci Newmahr to talk about her ethnography of the people in "Caeden," a public BDSM community in America, for the entire 2-hour show. The bookâand, therefore, this showâhas personal and sentimental meaning to me not only because it articulates in academic language much of what I've been experiencing in my time as a part of numerous BDSM communities, but also because Staci is a personal friend. Her book therefore chronicles some of my own time in "Caeden," and offered me a window into my own (often painful) past. Although Kink On Tap is still not returning to weekly shows, that doesn't mean there isn't stuff coming up! First of all, if you have questions for Staci or comments about our conversation, leave a comment or fill out the Feedback form on our website. Also, there are a number of fantastic events scheduled where I hope you'll say hi to me, including KinkForAll Providence 2 in Rhode Island and the Atlanta Poly Weekend (where I'm slated to give a presentation on anti-censorship best practices for sex-positive publishers) in Georgia. Finally, if you like Kink On Tap or any of my other work, you can help me keep doing it by chipping a few dollars into the hat at the Kink On Tap Donate page, or bringing me to speak with your students or community group. Your contributions and invitations really do help a lot!
Government censorship of Wikileaks highlights decades-long repression of sexual speech, Australian censors feed the labiaplasty industry, the MPAA thinks subtle cunnilingus should be rated NC-17, backlash against the TSA's security theatre is only in the mainstream thanks to a privileged white dude's junk, and Italian religious courts validate sexual thought crime. Forget the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! The trinity from Screw Smart in Philadelphia offer many more things to say "amen" to! Kira Manser, Rebecca Alvarez, and J.D. Ackerman, the three sex positive queer women who founded this sex education collaborative joined me for a far-reaching conversation about their work as gynecological teaching associates, new media sex educators, and community builders in Pennsylvania. Hitting insights about American culture and its obstinate refusal to explore touch, whether sexualized or not, free market sensitivities (or lack thereof) to people of different body size and shape, and more, this "trinity of sex education" offers knowledge and asks questions with grace and class. Also, as you may have noticed, this episode was recorded almost two months ago, which goes to show how incredibly understaffed and overworked I am. But I'm still interested in continuing Kink On Tap in some form or another, so I'm leaving the volunteer opportunities page up and I encourage you to get in touch with me if you're interested in working together. I've done a lot in my time, and rather than throw in the towel, I'm actually gearing up for a whole lot more. Watch this space. :)
At the initiative of Maaya Hitomi, a University of Windsor student and transgender activist, we discuss the recent Transgender Day of Remembrance and some of the news stories about it with friends of the show xMech and Shanna Katz.
Kelli Dunham and Jessica Halem discuss Fuck Your Health, a queer healthcare advocacy project. Also, a special, albeit sad, announcement about the uncertain future of Kink On Tap from maymay.
Katie Diamond was on this show. She talked about Salacious Magazine. (My friend James also joined the conversation.)
Halloween dates are fungible if you're a religious majority, while costumes are not. Exhibit A: sexy pumpkins advertised in the most stereotypical way possible. Also, Australia's porn laws make traveling a non-consensual exhibitionistic experience, Apple approves a transphobic app, and gay parents can adopt in Fable 3. Joining Emma and I Halloween night was friend of the show Shanna Katz, also known as "Empowered Feminist Rosie the Riveter" for the evening.
Australian prosecutors lose an illegal abortion case despite proving their case, a 13-year-old girl in Peru is denied an abortion despite an attempted suicide, Apple touts dumb new "anti-sexting" technology, Yale frat boys chant their own sexual anxiety, and women want equality for places the sun don't shine. This week, thick-skinned feminist writer at Pandagon.net and reproductive justice proponent Amanda Marcotte joined Emma and I for a conversation that started about abortion, meandered its way to topics of education, and somehow wound up at whale tales. (Yes, really.) Amanda's the author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments and Get Opinionated: A Progressive's Guide to Finding Your Voice (and Taking a Little Action), as well as the host of RHRealityCheck.org's Reality Cast, a weekly injection of truth into the sex and reproductive health debate in podcast form. Her sanguine attitude about issues both big and small is enviable and endearing, and we sincerely appreciated her stopping by to smack down some knowledge on a few of the important issues of the day. Also, as I was recording in Seattle since I was participating in the third Polyamory Leadership Summit, I want to say a big thank you to the very fine folks at The Purple Store for letting me use their warehouse and Internet connection to do the show last weekend! If you need something purple (and, really, who doesn't?) then you're just about guaranteed to find it at The Purple Store. Personally, I'm intrigued by the purple leatherman, and the the psychic rat. And also the purple camo boy briefs.
The Libyan government seizes a URL shortener branded as sex-positive, an Ontario judge rules anti-prostitution laws are more harmful to prostitutes than the activities the law criminalized, the US Department of Justice appeals the courts to retain Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the sex-positive media venture CarnalNation closes its doors. After far too long a wait, my good friend Clarisse Thorn finally joined Emma and I this week to discuss pretty much everything from porn to circumcision. Clarisse, who recently returned from a year-long stint in Sub-Saharan African working to help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS, provided a really nuanced look at the controversial topic of male circumcision, what's wrong with The Anti-Porn Men Project (hint: a lot), and also shared some opinions about why men are so often demonized for being honest about their sexual needs. Also, with CarnalNation's closure and the vb.ly link shortener seizure, we meander away from sexuality theory into sexuality media and the perils and opportunities of the new media landscape. And speaking of the new media landscape, I'm really excited to be announcing that as Kink On Tap has grown from a podcast to a much more wide-reaching social media presence, I'm also looking for a few more kinky people into the whole new media thing to help me spread sex-positivity into more parts of the Internet. If you are or want to become a social media ninja, consider taking a look at the Kink On Tap Media Monitor volunteer opportunity we've put together. And in the mean time, please spread the good word about Kink On Tap with an iTunes review or an email to a friend. Thanks!
The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health's 2nd Annual Conference was held in Pawtucket, Rhode Island last Sunday, October 10th. The conference, called Talking About the Taboo, brought together sexuality educators, activists, and community members for an expert panel that was open to the public. When friend of the show Megan Andelloux invited Emma and I to The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health and asked us to bring the conference to all of you Kink On Tap listeners, we jumped at the chance. (Well, technically, I bought a plane ticket.) The main feature of the conference was an expert panel featuring sexologists Dr. Logan Levkoff, Dr. Charlie Glickman, and Dr. Anita Hoffer, as well as media maker and activist Audacia Ray, KinkAcademy.com founder Princess Kali, and award-winning gender and sexuality writer Sinclair Sexsmith. The conference also offered members of the public an opportunity to explore The CSPH as well as many other educational, community, and commercial projects like Philadelphia-based Screw Smart, Brandeis University's Student Sexuality Information Service, Crystal Delights Erotic Toys, and many more. National conferences like this are a lot of work, so we want to give a special shout-out to Megan Andelloux, The CSPH's hardworking director, its fabulous backbone of interns, and everyone who participated to make the day a success.
Anti-choice activists in Colorado want a constitutional amendment to obliterate the rights of the living despite a new study that demolishes a pillar of anti-choice propaganda, the media finally pays attention to the horrific rates of GLBT youth suicide (LGBTQ youth are up to 9 times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers), hypocrisy is on display in Michigan thanks to anti-gay hate speech by assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell, and sex educators unite to support university Sex Week events. Joined again by the inimitable Driftglass, co-host of The Professional Left politics podcast, this week we catch up on a bunch of sexuality news including the civil rights implications of bathrooms and proposals for virgin-only public schools (yes, really). Of course, the conversation wouldn't be complete without some theorizing about social conservatives' mindsets (hint: infinitely pitiable), and a healthy dose of science fiction influence. Thanks, Arse Elektronika! Remember that next week, Sunday, October 10th, Emma and I will be broadcasting a special Kink On Tap from the annual Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health conference in Pawtucket, Rhode Island! We'll begin at approximately 1 PM Eastern and it will be replacing our regular show for the week, but you can still join us live as usual. And, as always, please take a moment to help us share the love by rating or reviewing Kink On Tap on iTunes, or sending some cash or even sending a news story our way!
Horrific headlines of nonconsensual torture and abuse of a young woman in Missouri has some people mistaking those activities for typical BDSM relationships. But in every important way, that's not what we do. Due in large part to the widespread cultural stigmatization of BDSM sexuality, abusive relationships sometimes go undetected when they shouldn't, yet consensual situations are wrongfully demonized in puritanical witch hunts. That's what happened to cash-strapped Lisa Chavez after she accepted a job working as a dominatrix over the phone. Every so often, a horrific story of sexual abuse hits the mainstream media and is conflated with typical BDSM relationships. In this week's episode, we take a step back from our poly-glut format to focus on an issue near and dear to our hearts: hard, uneasy, critical discussion about "The BDSM Community," and its capital-s Scene. Joining us for the first time is principal blogger of the Yes Means Yes blog, Thomas Millar, whose razor-sharp intellect is matched only by his unabashed directness, for which we are personally very grateful. Also joining us once again this week is our good friend and founder of the sexuality community website Sex Gender Body, Arvan Reese. This episode featured difficult conversation about a difficult issue that pushed many personal buttons for us, and may for you as well. We think some of you may be surprised at some of our views, experiences, and thoughts and we encourage your feedback in the comments, as always. We're also working on some new ways to highlight the great contributions from listeners like you, so keep your eyes peeled for these announcements, coming soon.
In a major political upset, a Republican Tea Party anti-masturbation, anti-choice, anti-civil liberties, anti-women-in-the-military, anti-gay, anti-science, sexist self-proclaimed feminist English major who doesn't seem to have a grasp on the English language (no exaggeration!), Christine O'Donnell, wins Delaware's primary. Within days, the years-long Republican rhetoric about culture wars and social issues like women's rights being a thing of the past is swept away under a tidal wave of totalitarian anti-sex crusading liars taking political power away from moderates, thrusting sexuality and sexual freedom into America's national political discourse. It's a good thing Kink On Tap is a totally independent show, because after last week's news of Christine "no-O"-Donnell's primary victory in Delaware, there would be no FCC-censored broadcast rich enough to bankroll the string of obscenities that came out of my mouth during this show. And Ms. O'Donnell deserves every word of anger and disgust thrown at her and far, far more. Joined by long-time political blogger Bluegal, co-host of The Professional Left, sexuality community site SexGenderBody.com founder Arvan Reese, and sex educator Shanna Katz, we take a look at how a fear of sex is used as a weapon in American politics and Emma tries to talk me down from the edge. As an aside, regular readers of my blog will know that I was mugged on the street last week and after having some of my personal affects stolen, including my laptop, I've been playing catch up all week. If you find it within your means to help me financially, that would be wonderful. If not, and even if you can, an even better way to help is simply to participate in Kink On Tap by contributing content to the community links feed, by spreading the word about this show, or by engaging with any of the other sexuality advocacy projects I work on. Thanks for your continued activismâin whatever form it takes.
Evil anti-trafficking organizations turn to scapegoating Craigslist for political gain, Google has a not-so-secret censorship list, DADT is unconstitutional (duh), sex workers want to know what police consider prostitution, and US evangelicals partner with Chinese officials for their failing abstinence agenda when they should be taking a page out of the Dutch playbook. Using inflated numbers, criminally shortsighted political capital, and a pervasive ignorance of technology, anti-trafficking activists are hijacking an important issue and turning it into a moral battleground, and real women with real lives and their own voices are paying the price. That's why we were so grateful to super-smart sex worker's rights advocate Audacia Ray for taking the time to help us understand the hysteria around the Craigslist sex-trafficking headlines. We were also joined this week by Reid Mihalko who, much to Emma's delight, got the time to geek out over the relationship between comic book superheroes and men's emotional health. On a different note, I want to take a moment to highlight a simple new feature on this site, where many sexuality-related terms are linked to a definition. If you write about sex at a WordPress-powered website, consider installing the WP Simple Sex-Positive Glossary plugin (written by yours truly) to help raise awareness of the awesome glossaries at sites like Sexuality.About.com and Scarleteen.com. It's just one of my many small acts that I hope will help transform the world. And if you don't run a website, help us transform the world with an iTunes review for Kink On Tap.
US-based sex selection clinics make a pretty penny treating gender like a disease, medial students numbed to ethical issues of nonconsensual pelvic exams, Apple betrays a much wider anti-sexuality stance by hiding pro-GLBT celebrity tweets, the new teledildonic Mojowijo corrupts the family-friendly Nintendo Wii, and start looking forward to senior sex! Is there a gender crisis we don't know about? With a story about sex-selection fertility clinics and this picture essay about bathroom signs, we may have hit peak gender. So this week, we welcome back queer comic and friend of the show Kelli Dunham now that she's returned from Haiti offering her nursing skills to the earthquake-stricken country, alongside spoken-word artist and trans activist Solidad Decosta to help us find our way. Also new this week, the Kink On Tap store got some new merchandise in the form of long-awaited T-Shirts, which is very exciting. We also have a Google Calendar you can subscribe to, complete with live broadcast reminders so you'll never miss another chance to hang out in our chat room during a show. The calendar is also viewable online.
Resentful feminists give New Zealand's first male brothel a (ahem) hard time, China's trendsetters take "cosmetic surgery" to new vaginal depths, American conservatives applaud activist judges for stemming stem cell research, and a German pop star gets nailed for screwing around with HIV. This week, having turned on the tap a little early, we welcomed back Arvan Reese, the self-described "Joan Rivers of Kink On Tap" who runs the awesome community blogging site SexGenderBody.com. We were also super excited to welcome Kyle Munkittrick to the show for the first time. Kyle is the Program Director for the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, which is a sort of think tank that approaches new technologies from an ethically inquisitive point of view. Kyle is also an NYU graduate student whose specializations include transhumanism, a contributor to Discover Magazine's "Science Not Fiction" blog, and keeps his own blog at PopTranshumanism.com. Also, hey, if you're going to be in the San Francisco area on Thursday, September 2nd (that's tonight, actually!) come down to the Harlot club for this month's Forrplay music party, which will be featuring none other than yours truly! Great music by DJ Moxy will be paired with a free Vodka drinks menu featuring kinky specials inspired by Kink On Tap shows. Show up before 10 PM to learn what's in drinks like a "Teledildonic Savior" and a "Vagina Overlord!"